2Topics for Discussion IDEA overview Section 504/ADA overview Child FindPreschoolSchool-AgeSpecific Learning DisabilitiesDefinitionsResponse to InterventionIndependent Educational EvaluationsIEPsComplaint ProcessDue Process Hearings
3Resources Whose IDEA Is This? Ohio’s Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies serving Children with DisabilitiesOhio Administrative Code Sections to
4IDEA BASICSA child with a disability, who is between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive, is entitled to a free and appropriate public educationState has obligation to identify, locate and evaluate children to determine if they are entitled to special education and related servicesA child identified as disabled under IDEA is entitled to an Individualized Education Program in the least restrictive environmentProcedural safeguards exist to ensure compliance with these rules
5IDEA Definition of Disability A child who has one of the following disabilities and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services:AutismCognitive DisabilityDeaf-blindnessDeafnessEmotional DisturbanceHearing ImpairmentMultiple DisabilitiesOrthopedic ImpairmentOther Health ImpairmentSpecific Learning ImpairmentSpeech or Language ImpairmentTraumatic Brain InjuryVisual Impairment, orDevelopmental Delay (for 3-5 year olds) (will discuss later)
6Section 504/ADA BasicsAn entity that receives federal financial assistance may not discriminate on the basis of disability“Discriminate” is understood to mean the provision of “reasonable accommodations” to allow an individual to fully participate in programs and activitiesIf student is covered by both Section 504/ADA and IDEA, must typically first pursue rights under IDEA.
7ADA/Section 504 Definition of Disability A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual“Major life activities” includes speaking, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicatingAn individual with a disability under ADA/Section 504 is entitled to “reasonable accommodations”Students in this category get a “section 504 plan” rather than an IEPStudents are only in this category if they do NOT qualify as disabled under IDEA
8Rights Under ADA/Section 504 Sameness:Differences:Entitled to Free Appropriate Public EducationLikely to be placed only in regular classroomOnly entitled to accommodations rather than special programsValid evaluationsMeetings with appropriate individualsRights extend while in higher educationAppropriate placement decisionRights extend to non-school activitiesLeast restrictive environmentDue process protections
9When to Use Section 504/ADA Hostile environment on the basis of disabilityRefusal to permit student to bring a service animal to schoolInaccessible facilitiesSegregated graduation and honors ceremoniesDenial of admission to before of after school child care programsRefusal to allow participation in sports activitiesRefusal to permit to attend event unless accompanied by a parentPattern of assigning students with disabilities to inferior facilitiesExclusion from summer camp or social programObtain sign language interpreter for parent to attend school meeting
10Examples of Use of Section 504/ADA Child with a moderate case of cystic fibrosis could attend regular classes if accommodated by the provision of respiratory therapy services during the day.A child with sickle cell anemia could attend regular classes if provided with home or hospital tutoring during infrequent crisis situations that necessitate absence from schoolA child with spina bifida might be capable to attending regular classes if provided with catherization servicesA child with diabetes could attend field trips as part of a regular school program if accommodating by ensuring the child’s meals during trips satisfy his medication requirements.
11Section 504/ADA or IDEA?Child with ADHD who needs breaks or extra timeChild with diabetes who needs insulin injectionsChild with learning disability who needs specialized instructionChild with mobility impairment who needs adaptive physical educationChild with ADHD who needs specialized writing instruction to help with organization
12Child Find: Preschoolers A child 3 to 5 years old who is experiencing a delay in one or more of the following areas:Physical developmentCognitive developmentCommunication developmentSocial or emotional developmentAdaptive developmentAND who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services
13Child Find: Preschoolers School district may “choose” to use developmental delay category; not requiredA developmental delay may be substantiated by a delay of two standard deviations below the mean in one or more of the areas of development or 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in two or more of the areas of development.
14Jimmy at age 3: Need to know anything else? Peabody Developmental Motor Scale (Gross Motor)Balance: 2nd percentileNonlocomotor: 10th percentileLocomotor: 2nd percentileReceipt and Propulsion: 4th percentileTotal Score: 1st percentileSIB-R Adaptive Behavior AssessmentSelf-care: 1st percentileSocial communication 6th percentileTotal Score: 8th percentile
15Child Find: IDEA language All children with disabilities residing in the State … who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated and a practical method is developed and implemented to determine which children with disabilities are receiving needed special education and related services. (IDEA language)Ohio timeline:School district provides parents with Prior Written Notice within 30 days of referral, either agreeing or refusing to conduct an evaluation. Request could come from parent or the school’s screening/review team.Once parental consent is received, the school district conducts the evaluation within 60 days.
16Child find considerations Child Find obligation is an “affirmative duty” of the school districtObligation helps neutralize what Supreme Court called the school’s “natural advantage.”.Legal standard: Claimant “must show that school officials overlooked clear signs of disability and were negligent in failing to order testing, or that there was no rational justification for not deciding to evaluate.”
17When is school’s evaluation “appropriate”? Variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information, including information provided by the parentNot use any single measure or assessment as the sole criterionUse technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factorsProvided and administered in the language and form most likely to yield accurate informationThe child must be assessed in all areas of suspected disabilitySpecial rules for assessing specific learning disabilities, including use of scientific, research-based intervention
18Delays in initial evaluation The 60-day timeline for conducting the evaluation does not apply to a school district if:The parents of the child repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for the evaluation; orThe child enrolls in a new school district of residence after the 60-day period has begun.When determining the existence of a specific learning disability, the 60-day timeline also can be extended with mutual written agreement between the parents and eligibility team if it is determined that additional data are needed that cannot be obtained within the 60-day timeline.Notice: RTI is NOT a reason to unilaterally slow down the 60 day evaluation timeline.
19Learning Disabilities School District is not required to use “a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability.”May use “a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention” [RTI]
20Ohio Dyslexia Statute (ORC 3323.25) Creates Dyslexia pilot project for early screening and intervention servicesDefines dyslexia as “a specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin and that is characterized by unexpected difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities not consistent with the person’s intelligence, motivation, and sensory capabilities, which difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language.” ( (D)).
21DSM-5: Specific Learning Disorder: Criterion A: Persistent Difficulties (A) Difficulties learning and using academic skills, as indicated by the presence of at least one of the following symptoms that have persisted for at least 6 months, despite the provision of interventions that target those difficulties:1. inaccurate or slow and effortful word reading2. difficulty understanding the meaning of what is read3. difficulties with spelling4. difficulties with written expression5. difficulties mastering number sense6. difficulties with mathematical reasoning
22Criterion B: Affected academic skills are well below average for age (B) The affected academic skills are substantially and quantifiably below those expected for the individual’s chronological age, and cause significant interference with academic … performance … as confirmed by individually administered standardized achievement measures and comprehensive clinical assessment.Notes: Prefers standard score at least 1.5 standard deviations below the population mean for age (78 or less) but more lenient threshold (1 SD) can be used when other evidence is available.
23Criterion C: Readily apparent in the early school years (C) The learning difficulties begin during school-age years but may not become fully manifest until the demands for those affected academic skills exceed the individual’s limited capacities (e.g., as in timed tests, reading or writing lengthy complex reports for a tight deadline, excessively heavy academic loads)
24Criterion D: Are considered “specific” (D) The learning difficulties are not better accounted for by intellectual disabilities, uncorrected visual or auditory acuity, other mental or neurological disorders, psychosocial adversity, lack of proficiency in the language of academic instruction, or inadequate educational instruction.Notes: “Specific learning disabilities may also occur in individuals identified as intellectually ‘gifted.’”Notes: “Since specific learning disorder typically persists into adulthood, reassessment is rarely necessary, unless indicated by marked changes in the learning difficulties (amelioration or worsening) or requested for specific purposes.”
25315.00 (F81.0) With impairment in reading Word reading accuracyReading rate or fluencyReading comprehensionNote: Dyslexia is an alternative term used to refer to a pattern of learning difficulties characterized by problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor decoding, and poor spelling abilities. If dyslexia is used to specify this particular pattern of difficulties, it is important also to specify any additional difficulties that are present, such as difficulties with reading comprehension or math reasoning.
26Ohio’s ETR FormPart 3: Documentation for Determining the Existence of a Specific Learning DisabilityRequired Notification: that RTI being used (if applicable)Documentation of RTI (if used)Patterns of strengths and weaknesses (if used alternative research-based procedures)Exclusionary factorsDocumentation that underachievement is not due to a lack of appropriate instructionObservationMedical findingsPart 4: Eligibility Determination (3 boxes must be checked yes)Not due to lack of appropriate instructionMeets state criteria for disabilityChild demonstrates need for specially designed instruction
27Summary Federal law gives states option to use RTI to define SLD State law gives discretion to individual school districtsDSM-5 doesn’t reference RTI but notes academic difficulties lasted at least 6 months and were not remediated by good, regular instructionGifted student with dyslexia is recognized under DSM-5 and Ohio’s state standards but hard to fit into requirement that have achievement 1.5 SD below mean for age.Dyslexia not in federal law or state list of disabilities but mentioned in state pilot statute and DSM-5.
28What is RTI?The child does not make sufficient progress to meet age or state-approved grade-level standards in one or more area when using a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based interventionTo ensure that underachievement is not due to lack of appropriate instruction, document that:Prior to, or as a part of the referral process, the child was provided appropriate instruction in regular education settings, delivered by qualified personnel; andData-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal assessment of student progress during instruction, which was provided to the child’s parents
30RTI Evaluation (Ohio Regulations) Begins when sufficient data have been gathered and analyzed under conditions of targeted and intensive individualized intervention conditions, when there is evidence of an inadequate response to intervention on the part of the child, and the group determines that the child’s needs are unlikely to be met without certain specialized instruction in addition to the regular classroom instruction;Employs interventions that are scientifically-based and provided at appropriate levels of intensity, frequency, duration, and integrity, relative to the child’s identified needs;Is based on results of scientifically-based, technically adequate assessment procedures that assess ongoing progress while the child is receiving scientifically-based instruction, and that have been reported to the child’s parents;Includes the analysis of data to determine whether a discrepancy is present between actual and expected performance;MAY NOT BE USED TO DELAY UNNECESSARILY A CHILD’S BEING EVALUATED TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
31Learning disabilities & RTI January 21, 2011 OSEP opinion letter states that RTI cannot be used as a way to delay evaluation“It would be inconsistent with the evaluation provisions at 34 CFR through for an LEA to reject a referral and delay provision of an initial evaluation on the basis that a child has not participated in an RTI framework.”
32Independent educational evaluations 34 C.F.R. §(b) Parent right to evaluation at public expense.(1) A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency(2) Parent is entitled to evaluation at public expense unless agency demonstrates at a due process hearing that its evaluation is appropriate …(4) The public agency may ask for the parent’s reason why he or she objects to the public evaluation. However, the public agency may not require the parent to provide an explanation and may not unreasonably delay …(5) A parent is entitled to only one independent educational evaluation at public expense each time the public agency conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees.
33When is school’s evaluation “appropriate”? Variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information, including information provided by the parentNot use any single measure or assessment as the sole criterionUse technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factorsProvided and administered in the language and form most likely to yield accurate informationThe child must be assessed in all areas of suspected disabilitySpecial rules for assessing specific learning disabilities, including use of scientific, research-based intervention
34Individualized Education Program A written statement, developed, reviewed and revised in a meeting of an IEP team to identify the individualized, specially designed instruction, related services, accommodations, modifications and supports that a school district will provide for a child with a disability.
35Important Components Child’s Profile Present Levels of Performance Child’s performance in comparison with peersAcademic AchievementFunctional PerformanceMeasurable Annual GoalsThere should be numerous annual goalsBenchmarks for Each GoalSummary Sheet of Specially Designed Instruction
36Components of a Measurable Goal WHO: SarahDOES WHAT: will be able to read Dolch sight wordsTO WHAT LEVEL OR DEGREE: at her instructional level with readability of 75 of 100 words with 100 % accuracyUNDER WHAT CONDITIONS: while using a textIN WHAT LENGTH OF TIME: by the end of the school yearMEASUREMENT OF PROGRESS: Progress will be measured through short-cycle assessments with parents receiving 9 week reports.
37Another Example of an IEP Goal WHO: TommyDOES WHAT: will make inferences by answering “what will happen next” questionsTO WHAT LEVEL OR DEGREE: with 80 % accuracy in 4 out of 5 trialsUNDER WHAT CONDITIONS: given a second grade reading sampleIN WHAT LENGTH OF TIME: by the end of the yearMEASUREMENT OF PROGRESS: Short cycle assessments and work samples sent home to parents every nine weeks.
38Inappropriate Uses of Percentage 80 % is often used indiscriminately even when it is not measurable or it is inappropriate as a goalKaren will stay on task 80 % of the timeKaren will cross the street safely 80 % of the timePercentage is used when task doesn’t lend itself to measurementKaren will identify the main idea with 95 % accuracyKaren will ask questions when confused 80 % of time.
39What is wrong with this IEP Goal? Tommy will:Correctly articulate the R, S and L sounds in conversational speech with 80 % accuracyRespond appropriately when asked a “wh” question in 8 out of 10 trials across 4 consecutive sessionsTake conversational turns when conversing with an adult in 4 out of 5 structured conversational activities over four consecutive sessions, andIncrease sentence length from 4-5 words to 7-8 works with prompts and modeling across four consecutive sessions.
40What is wrong with this IEP Goal? Parent will make sure that student empties backpack after school each day and brings appropriate work and supplies to school each day on 4 of 5 days.
41BenchmarksA specific statement of what the child should know and be able to do in a specified segment of the yearGoal: reading 75 of 100 sight words independently by end of yearFirst benchmark: match 75 of 100 sight words to appropriate text with 80 % accuracy in 4 of 5 trials by end of first grading periodSecond benchmark: read 60 of 100 sight words with use of visual prompts by end of second grading period
42Summary of Specially Designed Instruction List all supports and services for the goal:Beginning and end datesAmount of timeProvider and locationInstructional groupingAccommodationsAny supports for school personnel needed to provide the services
44Educational benefits standard Supreme Court repeatedly focuses on the importance of “access to specialized instruction and related services”State satisfies its FAPE requirement by “providing personalized instruction with sufficient support services to permit the child to benefit educationally”The “basic floor of opportunity” consists of “access to specialized instruction and related services which are individually designed to provide educational benefits”
45Statute and Regulations IDEA Findings: education for children with disabilities can be made more effective by “having high expectations for such children and ensuring their access to the general education curriculum in the regular classroom, to the maximum extent possible”Department of Education regulations: Children can be classified as disabled and therefore entitled to a FAPE “even though they are advancing from grade to grade”
46Complaint ProcessAn organization or individual may file a written complaint about an alleged violation that occurred not more than one year prior to the date of the complaintState has 60 days to:Carry out an investigationGive complainant opportunity to provide additional informationProvide school district with an opportunity to respondReview all relevant information and determine if school district is violating IDEAIssue a written decisionIf find denial of appropriate services, then must:Include corrective action appropriate to address needs of the child andAppropriate further provision of services for all children with disabilitiesParents often obtain relief through complaint process.
47Due Process Hearings Due Process Complaint filed by parent School District answers complaint within 10 daysParties schedule a resolution meeting or mediationIf matter not resolved within 30 days then Due Process Hearing heldA decision is supposed to be reached within 45 days of the expiration of the 30 day resolution periodTimeline can be expedited in the event of an emergency matter like an expulsionOhio has two-tier system so either party can appeal decision by Hearing Officer.Parents rarely prevail and almost never prevail without a lawyer.